Primary Elections Shake Things Up Around the Country

Sasha Brown-Worsham
3

American flag and eagle
Flickr photo by stephen.moore
The primary elections in the past few weeks have involved some major shake-ups across the country.

“This is not a good year to be an incumbent," said Peter A. Brown, a pollster for Quinnipiac University in Connecticut in an article for the Boston Globe.

Some longtime lawmakers were ousted while others have had to work extra hard to hold the seats they once won handily.

Here are a few of the big ones by state:

  • Kentucky: Tea Party candidate Rand Paul -- son of Ron Paul -- won Kentucky’s Republican primary for the US Senate last night. "I have a message from the Tea Party that is loud and clear and doesn't mince words: We've come to take our government back," Paul said, his family standing behind him at a celebration in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in an article in the USA Today.
  • Pennsylvania: Arlen Specter, the Senator who defected from the Republican party and became a Democrat, lost his bid for reelection when he was defeated by Rep. Joe Sestak. "This is what democracy looks like: A win for the people over the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, DC," Sestak said in an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • West Virginia: Last week, 15-term Democrat Alan Mollohan lost his primary to state Sen. Mike Oliverio.
  • Utah: Republican Senator Bob Bennett of Utah lost his party's nomination for his long-held seat to the Tea Party at the GOP state convention last week.
  • Arkansas: Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter must go again June 8 in another primary for the Democratic Senate race since neither candidate got 50 percent.
  • Indiana: Rep. Mark Souder, an evangelical Christian who had famously backed abstinence-only education, recently admitted he had had an affair with a woman who worked for him and resigned. There will be a primary this summer, but Democrats are confident it will make the fall election much more competitive.

So, what does all this mean?

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